Mudda discusses what the government’s stance should be in the wake of slights suffered by the family of ex-navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who went to Islamabad to visit him

The manner in which Pakistan facilitated meeting between India’s former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and his mother and wife in Islamabad has triggered severe criticism by the Indian government and the people. The matter was being discussed on several platforms including the parliament, media and public chatter.

APN discussed the issue during its popular 60-minute debate show, Mudda, on Wednesday. Participants included Chandrabhushan Pandey, Onkar Nath Singh and Manoj Yadav, spokespersons of the BJP, the Congress and the SP, respectively. Col Fasi Ahmed, the defence expert, Dr Manan Dwivedi, expert on international affairs, and Govind Pant Raju, the consulting editor of APN, also participated in the debate. Himanshu Dixit anchored the show.

Pandey, the BJP spokesperson, was critical of the irresponsible statement issued by Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal, justifying Pakistan’s handling of the Jadhav case. Pandey demanded an immediate apology by Mulayam Singh  and Akhilesh Singh Yadav. He said that Pakistan has lost its credibility right from the very beginning.

Manoj Yadav, spokesperson of Samajwadi Party, said the Government of India is responsible for the slights suffered by Jadhav’s mother and wife. He echoed Agarwal in saying that Pakistan has been treating Jadhav as a terrorist, a notion denied by the Indian government. But at the same time he appeared to criticise Agarwal saying the latter “does not even know what Pakistan’s charge against Jadhav is—whether he is being alleged to be a spy or a terrorist”.

Singh, spokesperson of the Congress party, said the government should issue a statement about Jadhav’s meeting with his mother and wife. Otherwise, people like Agarwal will continue speaking irresponsibly.  He said the government was counting the meeting as its success when in fact what transpired was very shameful. The government should have been certain about how to go ahead with the meeting. The government should decide the policy henceforth and take a tough stand against Pakistan, he said.

Col Fasih Ahmed, the renowned defence expert, contributed his view. He said that army of any country is the projection of the country’s resolve. He suggested some decisive action be taken against Pakistan.

Dwivedi, the expert on international affairs, said that such incidents project India as a soft state which undermines our national interest.

—Compiled by MA Kazmi